How Can Your Café Survive Lockdown?


How Can Your Café Survive Lockdown?

If you run a café, the chances are your finances, supplies and customer-base have already been knocked back by the impact of Covid-19. As the industry faces an uncertain future in relation to further lockdowns, it might seem as though there are limited opportunities to survive as a business.

However, with some creative thinking there are some obvious ways to build your café business up in the times when your customers can’t come to you.

The first thing you can do to continue to generate an income is to transform your café from a venue that customers visit to a delivery base instead.  If you are able to continue to create high-volume and popular cakes, pasties and sandwiches, then you can work within your community to develop a delivery system that gives existing clients the chance to continue purchasing your goods and new customers the opportunity to engage with your services. 

You might develop your relationships with local business that you don’t normally partner with. With the lack of options for eating out at lunchtime, staff that are still travelling to work each day might welcome the opportunity of a delivery to the workplace. It wouldn’t take more than a few good temporary delivery contracts to enable your café to flourish, even under the most difficult of circumstances.

It may be worth diversifying your offer so that you are able to post products out or use an online seller to manage that aspect for you. Preserves, sauces, tinned goods, robust baked goods, ground coffee and a range of dry foods all have the potential to travel well, and perhaps now is the time to develop new lines that your customers would enjoy. There’s nothing to stop you continuing to sell these products face to face in time to come, of course.

Food shops are open, so look at developing these products and generating relationships with shops that are trading through the lockdown. Getting open, local shops to stock your range might not bring in a huge amount of revenue, but alongside some of these other ideas, it will all add up.

Lastly, use this time to work on your web presence, with the focus on social media and blogging on your own site. That way you’ll remain in the minds of loyal customers, and potentially pick up a new customer-base as well. Reviewing products, recording videos and sharing café recipes might all help you to grow your popularity, ready for the time the doors open once more.

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